The 7 Best Bypass Garden Pruners


Garden pruners are also known as secateurs, pruning shears, and clippers.

If you’re looking to prune your precious roses, trim down overhanging shrubs and branches, or attack smaller tree limbs, a great set of pruners makes that much easier for you.

Arguably the most commonly used gardening tool, you can get back to basics and enjoy getting down and dirty without needing to put in too much physical effort.

Pruning shears are ideal for all those smaller elements of yard work that don’t call for a chainsaw but for which you need a little helping hand.

We’ll be looking today at a curated selection of the best garden pruners in a crowded market. We’ve separated the wheat from the chaff so you can buy with complete confidence. If you’re impatient for the main event, here’s a glance at our chosen models along with their key benefits…

I. Our Picks For Bypass Garden Pruners

Products & FeaturesImage & Price

Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner Our #1 Pick

  • Perfect for lighter cutting applications
  • Anvil blade packing a sap groove
  • Hardened steel blades built to last
  • Comfy to use for prolonged periods
  • Limited lifetime guarantee

Okatsune 103 Bypass Pruners

  • Japanese steel blades scythe through wood
  • Longer than outgoing model
  • Easy to spot at a glance
  • Exceptional marriage of ergonomics and durability
  • Unbeatable brand heritage

Razor Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears

  • Non-stick high carbon steel blades
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Rugged anodized handle built to last
  • Perfect for light pruning
  • Lifetime guarantee for total peace of mind

Gonicc 8-Inch Pro-Grade Pruning Shears

  • Carbon steel blades for a cleaner cut
  • Ideal for trimming and pruning
  • Non-stick sap groove streamlines cutting
  • Reliable and smooth construction
  • Chop branches up to ¾-inch thick

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

  • Special coating on blades smoothens cutting
  • Blades won’t end up getting bogged down by sap
  • Unimprovable brand heritage
  • Highly rust-resistant
  • Cut branches up to 5/8-inch

Corona BP Classic Bypass Pruners

  • Solid forged steel blades for performance and longevity
  • Non-slip ergonomic grips
  • Comfy enough to use for hours without fatigue setting in
  • Cut branches and stems to 1 inch thick
  • Make close and clean cuts every time

Corona BP Flex Bypass Pruners

  • Fully adjustable grip for ease of use
  • Steel core to handles minimizes fatigue
  • Brightly colored and easy to see at a distance
  • Alter the dial to speed up cutting
  • Built to stay the distance

II. Bypass Pruner vs Anvil Pruner: Which is Better?



OK, before we get properly started, it’s worth exploring the difference between the two main types of pruner you’ll encounter:

  • Anvil pruners
  • Bypass pruners

What Are Anvil Pruners?

Anvil pruners have a blade on one side only. On the other side, you’ll find an anvil jaw equipped with a groove.

With these pruners, the blade can make a smash cut with the stem mashed against the wall or side.

The premise of using anvil pruners is very much like cutting in the kitchen on a chopping board.

How To Use Anvil Pruners

The core purpose of anvil pruners is cutting through dead wood. If you use these pruners on live wood, they tend to pulp and damage what’s left of the plant. This is obviously less than ideal.

Anvil pruners also struggle somewhat with stringy tissue. You’ll need to make several passes slowing you down and making the whole thing unnecessarily tiring.

If the bulk of your gardening duties consist of cutting back dead wood, anvil pruners make a sound choice.

What Are Bypass Pruners?

Bypass pruners operate on the same principle as scissors. One blade passes a second blade to make your cut.

How To Use Bypass Pruners

Bypass pruners excel for cutting the live material from fruits, flowers, vegetables, branches, and stems. These pruners deliver precise and clean cuts.

The bypass motion ensures that the residual wood or tissue isn’t smashed up when you prune. The plant will not only look better but should be better placed for a swift recovery, too.

When you cut, you’ll be able to get in nice and close to the tree or plant.

These pruners typically have blades that call for regular sharpening. While this might seem like a chore, fail to do so and you’ll end up with diminished cutting power over time and a blade that will let you down.

Bypass pruners are versatile. You can also use them to cut through dead material from stems to small branches.

Bypass Pruner vs Anvil Pruner: Which Should You Buy First?

Given that the majority of your pruning is likely to involve live plants, you’ll be better off with a bypass pruner.

With a bypass pruner, you’ll still be fine when it comes to cutting dead wood. An anvil pruner will only perform well with dead wood.

As with all gardening tools, there’s no right or wrong answer to which pruners you should buy. All that counts is closely analyzing your needs then buying the most suitable kit for the job.


Now you’ve got the lowdown on the key differences between bypass pruners and anvil pruners, it’s time for a bit more guidance.

III. Things You Should Consider

Focus on the following areas to make it super-simple to find the best bypass garden pruners with little time or trouble:

  • Type of Pruners
  • Blade Quality
  • Ergonomics
  • Cutting Capacity
  • Spring
  • Weight
  • Ease of Disassembling

Type of Pruners

The first decision you’ll face is the type of pruners.

You’ll find the following 3 options:

  • Bypass Pruners
  • Anvil Pruners
  • Ratchet Pruners

Bypass Pruners

Bypass pruners are the most popular of all garden shears and the core focus of our quest today.

The curved blades move past each other just like a pair of scissors. One of these blades is sharp and responsible for making the cut. This blades cuts as it passes the other blade which is thicker and unsharpened.

Anvil Pruners

An anvil pruner, by contrast, has one straight blade that cuts and closes onto a flat edge. The action here is like a knife on a chopping board.

As a rule, anvil pruners are bulkier than bypass pruners. If you’re looking to take care of most of your pruning duties at close quarters in tight, awkward spots, these are not the right tool for the job.

The blades on anvil pruners have a tendency to smash up the wood or plant material left behind. This can be mitigated to some extent if the blade is razor sharp. As a result of this lack of finesse, anvil pruners are best reserved for use on dead wood.

Ratchet Pruners

A sub-set of anvil pruners, ratchet pruners include an extra mechanism designed to help you when you’re making particularly tough cuts…

When you squeeze these pruners, they latch so you can release the grip then squeeze again. As a result, you can attack a cut in a series of easy steps rather than struggling to slice your way through in one.

If you have difficulty with wrist strength or you’re dealing with especially demanding foliage on a regular basis, there’s no substitute for some ratchet pruners in your toolbox.

OK then, with the type of pruners taken care of, what else should you consider when you’re on the buying trail?

Blade Quality

The best blades are usually made from stainless steel. Hardened or carbon steel are likely to last longer while performing more strongly into the bargain. Understandably, expect to pay a little more for the best blades.

If you skimp here and end up with pruners packing poor quality blades, you’ll end up damaging the foliage and rendering your attempts at beautification entirely pointless.

You should also check how closely the blades pass as you open and close them. You should be free to tweak the tightness if necessary ensuring the blades sit flush together for best cutting results.

Check to determine whether or not you need to sharpen your blades or whether they’re self-sharpening. Be sure to shoot for the latter if you’re not a fan of ongoing maintenance.


The idea of ergonomic design on bypass garden pruners is to allow you to work with less pressure, less wrist strain, and less overall fatigue.

Inspect user reviews and make sure there’s no negative feedback about the shears being uncomfy to use. Get this wrong and they’ll simply end up gathering dust in the garden shed.

Look for soft and non-slip handles that are easy to grasp without using too much pressure. Some come with rotating handles, a valuable extra if you’re engaged in sustained and heavy cutting duties.

Cutting Capacity

A pruner’s cutting capacity is the distance between its blades. This might not always reflect the size of branch you can cut since true cutting capacity hinges on the strength of the operator and the hardness of the wood.

Most of the best bypass garden pruners let you cut branches from ½ inch through to 1 inch at the upper end. If you have specific requirements or you’re planning to cut through plenty of thicker limbs, be certain to choose pruners capable of delivering.


Most pruning shears have a spring between the handles designed to push the blades apart as soon as you relax your grip. This is ideal for reducing hand fatigue.

Springs are made from coiled metal or wire.

While this might seem like a very minor feature, opt for shears without one and you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. Using them will be much more labor-intensive and more akin to breaking out a pair of scissors, something that’s incredibly tiring for more than short bursts.


If you only plan to use your pruners occasionally, the weight probably doesn’t make too much difference. If, on the other hand, you regular conduct pretty lengthy pruning sessions, it pays to get the lightest and most maneuverable cutters.

It’s a delicate to strike here between cutting power and weight. The only thing that counts is finding some shears that fit neatly with what you have lined up for them. Rush any element of your buying decision and you’re liable to end up with some unsuitable secateurs.

Ease of Disassembling

Over the course of time, sap, residue, and dirt builds up in pruners so regular maintenance is key. If you allow your shears to become clogged up with all this debris, they’ll become increasingly difficult to use before letting you down completely.

If you want the easiest possible job on the cleaning front, look for pruners you can disassemble without too much effort. If you can do this, you’ll simplify cleaning no end and maximize the lifespan of your pruners.

Right then, you should now have all the background you need to help you find the best bypass garden pruners the easy way.

We’ll get right down to business now with our capsule reviews of the leading models on the market.

IV. Top 7 Best Bypass Garden Pruners

1. Our #1 Pick:Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner


The Felco F-2 is an iconic manual pruner with an anvil blade boasting the requisite sap groove. This stops all that sticky gloop from clogging up your pruners as you beaver away.

Finished in a striking fire hydrant red, you’ll have no snags spotting your clippers from a distance if you set them down while you’re working.

The blades will power through thinner branches with relative ease while a nut and bolt on the blade allows for close adjustment.

Despite potent cutting performance, these pruners are lightweight and easy to use. You shouldn’t find yourself fatigued even if you’re trimming roses for hours.

As with all smaller pruners, these snips come into their own for lighter cutting applications. From gentle pruning to snipping back some overhanging shrubbery, you’ll make fast and precise cuts every time.

Crowned with a limited lifetime warranty, what’s not to love?
Things We Like

  • Get effective cutting power in an ergonomic unit
  • Rugged components and stainless steel build
  • Lightweight and easy to use despite such cutting power

Things We Dislike

  • Spring tediously prone to slipping

2. Okatsune 103 Bypass Pruners


One of the most enduringly popular of all bypass pruners in its class the 103 from Okatsune is well worth popping on your shortlist. What makes it so good, though?

Well, right off the bat you get hardened stainless steel blades. These are designed to make light work of all small stems and branches while also giving you impressive lifespan.

The orange accents make sure these tools are a cinch to spot at a distance. The orange stands out during the day while the white is easy to see when the sun starts going down.

Ideal for all levels of experience, these snips work well whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned gardening pro.
Things We Like

  • Blades made from the finest Japanese steel
  • Super-comfy to use for prolonged pruning sessions
  • Bright color scheme easy to spot in the yard

Things We Dislike

  • A few users have complained about rust setting in

3. Razor Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears by Garden Elite


Next up in our quest for the best bypass garden pruners is a classic set from Garden Elite with superb Japanese steel blades capable of delivering years of faithful service.

The Alpha Six are made from high-carbon SK-5 steel and the overall feel is snug and lightweight in your hands. This is key if you’re planning to spend hours beautifying your garden and you don’t want to feel burdened.

Blades come coated with PFTE so you shouldn’t find any resistance as you cut and you’ll be rewarded with exceptional longevity.

Comfy and easy to use even if you’re just starting out, these bypass pruners are hard to beat.

If you’re still not entirely convinced, the lifetime limited guarantee should allow you to buy with complete confidence.
Things We Like

  • Carbon steel blades cut cleanly through branches
  • Rock-solid build so expected lifespan is impressive
  • Rubberized grip so incredibly comfy to use

Things We Dislike

  • Thumb lock sometimes engages itself

4. Gonicc 8-Inch Pro-Grade Pruning Shears


Carbon steel blades get the part started right. These will cut straight through most garden debris without standing on ceremony. The sap groove in place ensure nothing gums up the works.

As a guideline, you can expect to cut through branches up to ¾ inch thick before you start running into problems. This is ideal for most lighter cutting jobs where you don’t want to break out the power tools.

All the power in the world is useless if your pruners are awkward to use. Ergonomic design allows you to wield these snips for lengthy periods without your arms feeling the strain.

Lightweight and maneuverable, you’ll be free to work yourself into tight spots with ease.

For versatile all-rounders capable of helping out with most smaller cutting jobs in the garden, the Gonnic 8-inchers are a modern classic.
Things We Like

  • Carbon steel blades with non-stick sap groove
  • Comfy to use as well as remarkably efficient
  • Outstanding price/performance ratio

Things We Dislike

  • Build quality leaves something to be desired

5. Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears


Fiskars is a hard-hitter when it comes to garden shears and these bypass pruners are a particularly fine example.

These steel pruners boast stay-sharp blades so you’ll keep upkeep to an absolute minimum while enjoying unparalleled performance.

Coated with a low-friction treatment, you’ll find the blades work their way smoothly through even thicker branches. You can cut limbs up to 5/8-inch thick so these snips are highly effective when you’re slicing back shrubbery.

The blades should resist rust and corrosion while the overall feel is lightweight and ergonomic.

If you’re looking to invest in some simple but highly effective pruners from a brand you can rely on, these should be near the very top of your list.
Things We Like

  • Stay-sharp blades made from precision-ground steel
  • Cut thicker branches to 5/8 inch
  • Backed by a lifetime guarantee for total peace of mind

Things We Dislike

  • Undersized return spring is a disappointment

6. Corona BP Classic Bypass Pruners


The first of a pair of Corona shears before we round out today. This model comes with a 1-inch cutting capacity making them one of the beefier sets of shears we look at today.

The blades are made from forged steel so they’re easy to use, highly effective, and built to last. You won’t need any tasky maintenance either so these shears will make your life easier not more difficult.

You can sharpen and replace the blade keeping ongoing costs down.

Finished in a commanding red, you shouldn’t have any problems spotting these snips from afar.

Non-slip grips complete a winning package. The only real negative is that these pruners weigh 1 pound so if you’re looking for something as lightweight as possible, try one of the more compact models we look at above. If you don’t mind a little heft, you’ll appreciate the show-stopping performance you get in return for that extra weight.
Things We Like

  • Forged steel blades stand up to sustained use
  • Remarkably comfy and easy to use
  • Wire cutting notch keeps pruners safely closed

Things We Dislike

  • Difficult to cut branches thicker than ½ inch

7. Corona BP Flex Bypass Pruners


Something different to round out with these fully adjustable cutters from Corona.

There’s an 8-position dial you can flick through enabling you to customize cutting in line with the size of your hands. 1 is for the smallest hands while you can push right up to level 8 if you have large hands.

The steel core in these handles gives you greater comfort while feeling less fatigued. You should be able to use these pruners for hours without your hands feeling clawed up in pain.

Finished in a vibrant orange, there’s no chance at all you’ll lose these pruners when you’re toiling away.
Things We Like

  • Work for longer without fatigue setting in
  • Completely adjustable so ideal for all sizes of hands
  • Comfy gel grips add to ergonomics

Things We Dislike

  • Blades somewhat prone to nicking

V. Conclusion

Well, with today’s guide to bypass garden pruners, you should now be absolutely clear about whether or not this is the right type of cutting tool for you. If you feel you’d benefit more from anvil pruners, don’t forget to bookmark the PrinceLA and come back soon as we’ll be bringing you the best of these alternatives. We always like to bring something for everyone.

If you are content to roll with bypass pruners, stick with any of the models we highlight today and you’re in safe hands. If you decide to pursue another option, be sure to take our handy hints above into account. Take the time and trouble to dial in your needs and there’s no reason getting the best bypass garden pruners should take too much effort.

We have an ambitious content calendar for the coming months and we refresh our content almost daily. Pop back any time you need some guidance on buying the best kit for your beloved home and garden. In closing, if there’s anything you’d like us to cover here on the site that’s been giving you trouble, don’t hesitate to get in touchl.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment